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Date: 12/20/2016

From 4 to 18 December, all eyes of the handball world were on Sweden, on Stockholm, Kristianstad, Malmo, Helsingborg and Gothenburg to be more precise. 16 women’s teams took it to the court to dethrone Norway at the Women’s EURO 2016 and they almost succeeded. However, in a thrilling final Norway could beat Netherlands by one goal to claim gold and thus their seventh European championship title.


After the 2015 Women’s World Championship final and the Rio 2016 match for third place, it has been the third time within one year that Netherlands faced Norway in a medal match. Both times before Netherlands stood no chance and as Norway went into the final unbeaten, the odds were in their favour. However, in the EURO 2016 final the Dutch ladies showed that they have been growing over the past year and had Norway on the edge of defeat after a level half-time result (15:15). With a few seconds left on the clock, Netherlands had the chance to equalise but lost the ball due to a technical error. In the end, Norway celebrated their 30:29 victory while Netherlands were shocked.


“This was one of our best victories,” Norway’s coach Thorir Hergeirsson said. “Netherlands gave us a fantastic fight.”


Rio 2016 silver medallists France played against Denmark in a rather one-sided match for third place. The Danes struggled with the French defence and goalkeepers, scoring their first goal only after almost seven minutes. France charged ahead to a 14:9 lead at half-time and even though Denmark managed to close in on them to a one-goal difference in the middle of the second half, the French women did not lose their lead, beating Denmark by 25:22 in the end.


The match for fifth place kept everybody on the edge of their seats, as Romania defeated Germany only in the final second of the match 23:22 after a tie at half-time (11:11).


Netherlands, France and Denmark join Norway, who were already qualified as reigning World Champions, at the 2017 Women’s World Championship in Germany.



All-star team:


Goalkeeper: Sandra Toft (DEN)

Left wing: Camilla Herrem (NOR)

Left back: Cristina Neagu (ROU)

Centre back: Cornelia ‘Nycke’ Groot (NED)

Line player: Yvette Broch (NED)

Right back: Nora Mork (NOR)

Right wing: Carmen Martin (ESP)

Best Defender: Beatrice Edwige (FRA)


Most Valuable Player:  Cornelia ‘Nycke’ Groot (NED)


Top scorer: Nora Mork, 53 goals


Final standing:

1. NOR, 2. NED, 3. FRA, 4. DEN, 5. ROU, 6. GER, 7. RUS, 8. SWE, 9. SRB, 10. CZE, 11. ESP, 12. HUN, 13. MNE, 14. SLO, 15. POL, 16. CRO


Photo: Stephane Pillaud